Cable and Wireless Communications Posts 11% Rise in First-Half Profits
Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) has reported a one percent rise in revenues for the six months to the end of September, of US$1.43 billion, while net profits rose by 11 percent to US$120 million.
Across the Group, mobile revenues increased by 9%, boosted by growth in mobile data services. Macau posted a 20% rise in total revenue, driven by mobile services and smartphone sales.
Group EBITDA was similar to the prior year at US$445 million following an improved performance in the Caribbean and continued strength in Macau. The Caribbean performance was driven by mobile customer growth in Jamaica, further operating performance gains in The Bahamas and a region-wide cost reduction programme.
Commenting on the Group results, Tony Rice, CEO said: "We have delivered a respectable performance in the first half. Despite a challenging period for the telecoms industry as a whole, our Group has posted a balanced performance, with EBITDA rising 2%."
"We have also made progress on our strategy to reshape the business. During the first half we exited our West African enterprise business, and confirmed discussions regarding possible transactions involving our Monaco & Islands and Macau business units. These steps are in line with our stated plan to focus our management capability and future investment on the Pan-American region where we have scale, synergy and strong market positions as well as several growth economies."
Revenue at US$286 million was 7% lower than the same period last year due to lower enterprise and fixed voice
Mobile revenue at US$159 million rose 2% despite the competitive four player market and introduction of mobile number portability in November 2011. An increase in data penetration from 14% to 26% fuelled strong growth in non-voice revenue, particularly in the prepaid segment.
Gross margin decreased by 4% to US$193 million principally due to lower fixed voice revenue. As a percentage of revenue, gross margin improved by two percentage points.
Caribbean revenue was 4% down on the prior year leading to a similar decline in gross margin. EBITDA improved by 4% following progress in reducing the cost base.
Fixed line revenue at US$149 million declined by 12%. There was a 2% decline in the subscriber base and a fall in ARPU as usage continued to reduce in favour of alternatives such as mobile and VoIP solutions.
Across the rest of the Caribbean there was continued growth in the postpaid customer base although prepaid voice revenue was lower as usage decreased. Mobile data has seen strong growth with non-voice revenue for the region growing by 32%.
Mobile revenue of US$213 million was 41% higher driven by the sale of smartphones, particularly the iPhone. Excluding handset sales, revenue was up 14% driven by subscriber growth of 10% whilst data penetration within the customer base remained above 46%.
Roaming revenue was in line with last year as lower settlement rates with a major international roaming counterparty were offset by higher traffic volumes.
Monaco & Islands
Revenue at US$280 million was in line with the same period last year at constant currency. On a reported basis, revenue was 7% lower reflecting the weakness in the Euro and Seychelles Rupee compared to the prior year.
Operations in the Maldives, Monaco and Guernsey represented approximately 82% of revenue and approximately 87% of EBITDA in the first half.